It would seem that buying a bathtub would be a simple task, but there are many choices that can
be made depending on both your budget and what you ultimately want in a bathtub. There are single and two person
tubs, soaking tubs, soft bathtubs, whirlpool tubs, and if you have the space even hot tubs. Aside from all of that,
there is the material that the tub is made of, and the color choice, and the tub style. A lot to think
Which material best fits your needs?
Tubs are generally made of enameled cast iron, enameled steel, fiberglass or acrylic. there are also copper, wood,
and cultured marble bathtubs among others.
Cast-iron tubs with a porcelain finish is probably the most
durable in most home situations and the easiest to maintain and keep it's 'good looks'. An enameled
cast-iron bathtub is a little more expensive, and you need to be sure your floor will
support the weight. For long term use, your money will be well spent as these are easy to clean and resistant to
scratching etc. Buying an alcove style bathtub that fits into a wall enclosure on three sides will probably reduce
the cost somewhat.....
Enameled steel bathtubs are widely used and not a
bad choice if you are watching your bathroom remodeling budget. Enameled steel bathtubs are easy to keep clean and
good looking. The drawback is that the enamel is thinner than on cast iron and it can chip.
Fiberglass bathtubs have gained in popularity. This may be because of the price, availability, ease
of installation and the fact they are lightweight. But fiberglass bathtubs are not long on longevity. The surface
can dull, fade, and scratch. From a cleaning standpoint, they are more troublesome than enamel and once they become
dull they are not very attractive.
Acrylic bathtubs are lightweight and among the more economical. They have a high gloss and color all
the way through the product so they are less apt to fade. Acrylic is resistant to chips and cracks and can be
repaired if damaged. Do be aware that though it is resistant to many chemicals, others that are in common household
cleaners can be very damaging. An acrylic bathtub can be a good choice, and aside from being
lightweight and fairly durable if cared for properly, it tends to hold the heat of the bath water, and it is warmer
to the touch.
Copper bathtubs are another choice if you want a rustic look in your bathroom. Copper bathtubs are
high end and you will find the prices are pretty steep. The advantage to a copper
bathtub is first of all the rustic look. Aside from that, since a copper bathtub should
look rustic, maintaining it is fairly simple. When cleaning it avoid abrasive cleaners. Also, you might want to
check manufacturer suggestions before adding bath salts or other such properties to bath water. Lemon
specifically, could be potentially harmful.
Cleaning Your bathtub
This has been mentioned elsewhere on this site many times, but It needs mentioning again. Always
know the needs of what you are cleaning, and the potential hazards of common everyday cleaning products! Get
advice on caring for your fixtures from the manufacturer. Do not depend on the recommendations of a salesperson who
may lack specific knowledge of the product material involved. Know the needs of your specific bathtub depending on
the material involved.